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What's it like to live in a small Korean town?
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wakinghour



Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Location: United States

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2003 11:05 pm    Post subject: What's it like to live in a small Korean town? Reply with quote

What is it like living in a small town in Korea? The town I'm considering has about 125,000 people. I'm actually someone who grew up in the 'burbs, but I find the idea of living in a small town very refreshing. Of course, I don't know Korean countrysides at all. I guess I'm wondering about how safe they are, especially if you're a girl walking around at night...and if they're beautiful or just squalid and ugly.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How small is small? I live in a small city; it's small enough to make you yearn for food from back home, but big and noisy enough to still give you a headache.
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Harpeau



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: In Hannam-dong, Seoul.

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a living nightmare!!! Don't go there girl!!!
Harpeau Sad
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kiwiboy_nz_99



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Location: ...Enlightenment...

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found Pohang too small at 500,000 ... there were exactly 82 foreigners
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harryh



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: south of Seoul

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in a town with 20,000 people. It's far too quiet for me. I haven't seen a lot of things i like, for ten and a half months. Even things i don't like, i kind of miss (trains, traffic etc)

Foreign teachers- 5

Next contract - BIG city.
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whatthefunk



Joined: 21 Apr 2003
Location: Dont have a clue

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 3:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pohang strikes again!

I live in a very small village about thirty minutes outside Pohang (population guess...maybe 5,000?).

Every member of the community knows my name. Not only do I get 'Hi!' everywhere I go, I get 'Hi Whatthefunk! How are you today?' This might seem all fine and dandy to you non-villagers, but somedays (today for example) I just can't handle it and feel like going on some sort of rampage.

Everything I do somehow gets reported back to my boss. For example, if I go have a few drinks locally on the weekend, my boss will know about it on Monday.

At 7:00 am every morning, a guy comes over the loudspeaker placed directly outside my window and announces that it is time to get up and then conviently lists the daily specials at his resturant.

Its pretty ugly.

Its very dirty.

The first Sunday of the month at 7:00am is the monthly meeting. I have never made it to the meeting and get charged around 50,000 won a month for missing.

I live under an airport and major airforce base. On days when they do exercises, I hear about twenty planes and hour.

I also live next to an army base. When the airforce and army do exercises on the same day, it sounds like the North has invaded because I get the planes flying over and then some mortar and machine gun fire.

There is one road in my village.

There are about 20 *beep* houses in my village.

God Bless Pohang!

Anyway, I don't think it would be that bad to live in a town of 125,000, but ask how close to downtown you would be living. You might be okay with small town life, but maybe not village life. What city is it? You might get bored. It might be hard to find people that speak english... Good luck!
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captain kirk



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lived in a village of three thousand or two years. easy living. especially living on the roof of the school. half of the roof i was on was a concrete plain, like a patio. beside a mountain, kochu fields around. in the morning at seven a.m the village community loudspeaker came on with village announcements for ten minutes. at four a.m roosters crow. one main street with chickens in a cage and a cow in a stall main drag side the five minute walk downtown. two hagwons, beside each other. military would go on manuevers in the countryside in the summer. the nearest big place was twenty minutes driving away and population 20,000. the teacher before me was young and female. the boss didn't like it when she 'brought home' a young american soldier one time. it might be easier for a woman than a man to live in the smaller places because it's more provincial and a guy can't be seen with a korean gal for the sake of her rep. living in a small place is like sitting around a board game, like monopoly, watching the moves and waiting your turn. friendly but also quiet enough to hear the clock ticking, which kind of makes you think, go inwards, get peaceful. the kids were easy to teach because they were used to making do and unspoilt which was charming and helpful. mostly i felt like a monk but one of my own religion akin to kiwiboy's stated 'religion'; 'being very funky'. clouds roll overhead like great whales and poof, a year is gone. possibility of getting into taxidermy via an online correspondece course if you stay too long; 'this used to be the rooster'.
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camel96
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

God only knows where I read it but I recall something somewhere saying that to get a true representation of what a town / city in Korea outside Seoul feels like knock one of the zeros off the population total. In my experience I'd say it's pretty succinct. The last place I was in had 70-80,000 and currently I'm in a town of around 130,000 or something. Thankfully now I'm only a stones throw away from Seoul - Never thought I'd be calling Seoul a sanity break but it definitely is. But you've really gotta be a special type of person to survive in the bumpkin towns. It's probably to some degree akin to being in solitary confinement for a year.

Last edited by camel96 on Wed Aug 13, 2003 7:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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the_beaver



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Small towns bite.
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captain kirk



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

camel wrote, "...you've got to be a special type of person..."

wound up and fit to unravel, be untied. 'worked' for me

camel wrote, "it's probably akin to being in solitary confinement for a year"

like therapy but without the therapist. 'nature is a great healer'. i have a memory like no other of standing on that roof surrounded by nature and actually stone stiff inside with 'loneliness', like petrified, fossilized alive. elton john; 'mars aint the kind of place you'd raise your kids, in fact it's cold as hell'. this sounds weird but there were some power pole transformers way off in the distance clamped to a pole, and they looked like those eskimo 'inukshuks', human figures made of piled stones across the village rooftops but yet a 'desolate waste'. i'd NEVER work in a small town like that again. but you never know what you might find 'til you go inside. 'nothing has ever prepared you for the depth of this silence' stuff. if you're a bustle with superficial ties and loopy with knots the garden is in there with the desert, it just looks stark when you compare it with 'living a life with people', which is pretty much everybody so yeah, once was enough and it was vivid real. that peace of mind (part and parcel with its anti-perks) like a plain i took away with me, a real long beach. still squawk like a rooster at four a.m.;homesick. is that normal?
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kiwiboy_nz_99



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Location: ...Enlightenment...

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kirk, did you learn some Korean? What exactly did you do in your spare time?
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camel96
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What exactly did you do in your spare time?



Should I get in first with a predictable answer or should I be mature and just let it slide...?
Wink
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kiwiboy_nz_99



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Location: ...Enlightenment...

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go predictable mate ra ra ra ! Razz
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captain kirk



Joined: 29 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

at the risk of nominating myself for the feakiest waygood thread, i 'meditated' a LOT. that sounds odd to the 'uninitiated', but have you ever contemplated your navel? it got to be pretty bizarre, there are side effects to that stuff. like that thread going on about 'do you believe in ghosts' and tancred's saying we are like tots in the shallow end wearing water wings. go inside and a human has built in potential for being able to naturally do 'extaordinary things'. like 'esp', and so on springing from building up a 'strong center'. strong everything. moods included. have stopped that the last year, but 'will be back'.
watched a lot of videos, almost all the videos the two rental shops the village had. second year got a motorbike, then roamed as far as i could get and back on the weekends. sketched. went to the gym. collected butterflies, moths, spiders etc. and pinned one each in frames. lots of variety around, since it was the country. found dead. never went so far as to inject them with formaldahyde while living which 'is what professionals do', is one story. on bike trips got to see the ancient dolmen which are still where their makers left them, farmers plotting around. seeing 'old korea'. remember once, at harvest time, not far from this spectacular old dolmen on a hill in a field near the coast, old timers spreading millet grain heads on the side of the road to dry, a communal effort. regressed in some ways, advanced in others. so i wouldn't go back; since 'found' it's a shared experience, this life. where you are and who you're standing with makes who you are each moment, not a 'still life'. no, wasn't learning korean, and yes that would have been the door. some got to get burned to learn, and the fire was worth it. ouch
and yeah, got to know my peter as if i hadn't known, but that's another story (or this one 'in disguise')
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kiwiboy_nz_99



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Location: ...Enlightenment...

PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2003 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like s seriously extraordinary time ... my dad is a zen buddhist, he meditates for 45 minutes every morning at 6:30 and has been doing so for 30 years. it's phenominal, and he's the person i most admire in the world. unfortunately i have never had to discipline to keep it up. i've done it for like 3 or 4 weeks at a time, but never solidified the habit. i still aim to when i finally grow up. a lot of it is about plain old discipline, but the rewards, i know, are vast. my dad is the most centred happy peaceful dude i know, and he's not like passive and so mellow he's boring either, he's completely full of life ... so it sounds like time well spent my man

i gotta ask this though, and please don't think i'm bringing the tone of the conversation down, but did you have any female company during the sojurn?
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